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Many Blue Raider sports might soon be streamed live on the Internet

By Laura Hayes

laurahayes@pressandjournal.com

717-944-4628
Posted 3/11/20

Middletown Blue Raiders fans soon might be able to stream their favorite teams’ games.

The Middletown Area School Board agreed to pay $7,000 to participate in the NFHS Network School …

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Many Blue Raider sports might soon be streamed live on the Internet

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Middletown Blue Raiders fans soon might be able to stream their favorite teams’ games.

The Middletown Area School Board agreed to pay $7,000 to participate in the NFHS Network School Broadcast program, which would allow sports games to be live-streamed online.

“I think it’s nice for elderly parents or grandparents who can’t make it to the game, don’t live in the state,” board member Jennifer Scott said at the March 3 board meeting.

MASD Athletic Director Richard Reed said he hopes to have the cameras available for baseball and softball season.

Reed, who previously worked in the Baltimore County Public Schools system, said every school in Maryland is using the system. In his experience, people use it to watch early games. Relatives who live out of state also use it. 

Reed said NFHS Network School Broadcast Program is also working with Pennsylvania schools, including Milton Hershey and Cedar Cliff, and it captured Middletown basketball player Kate Fitzpatrick’s 1,000th point.

Reed said there’s a 10-second delay on the feed.

Viewers who want to watch the games live can pay for a monthly subscription for $10. Reed said the district would receive 10 percent of the monthly subscription. He said the district could also offer yearly subscriptions.

After 24 hours, the videos would be free to view.

Reed plans to have the cameras mounted in four locations — Middletown Area High School gym, baseball field, softball field, and War Memorial Field.

MASD Superintendent Lori Suski said once a proposed synthetic turf field — the “mini-stadium” being proposed for near the high school — is completed, more cameras could be added.

“The cool thing is, it’s a great opportunity for our junior varsity teams, our junior high teams, the sports that don’t get a lot of attention, like soccer and such, in which we don’t have the manpower to produce these productions like what we do with Raider TV or WMSS. We have that now, always available to us,” Reed said.

He said the district currently uses students to film the games on iPads, which may not result in the best footage. The new cameras are unmanned, Reed said.

Cameras are mounted onto a wall, press box or concession stand and follow the flow of the game.

The videos would be archived and uploaded to coaching software for coaches to access.

Reed said the videos could be hooked into live WMSS coverage.

“As a student athlete, I think it’s fantastic to always have your memories archived,” Reed said.

Scouts would be able to use the cameras, Reed said. Board member Chris Lupp pointed out that competitors also would have access to the videos.

Competitors scout Middletown teams anyway, Reed responded.

Reed said the cameras could be used by other groups, such as the American Legion, or for the annual Mayoral Madness game.

Suski said any revenue would be earmarked for athletic capital improvements, such as upgrades to a press box or the baseball scoreboard, for example.

The district would also be able to generate revenue through advertising. Reed said logos could be placed in each corner on the screen.

Suski recommended that advertising be coordinated with WMSS.

Questions about the effects on attendance and concession sales need to be considered, Reed said.